Are Emojis Replacing Words?

Are emojis really replacing words? In order to answer this question, let’s take a look at some questions:

1) When your friend sends you something funny on What’sApp, do you:

  1. LOL
  2. 😂

If you chose A, please be informed that you are a part of the very small number of people that did.

2) When you’re feeling tired, what do you add to your Snapchat story:

  1. I am feeling tired
  2. 😴

If you chose B, I’m sure you chose it because it pictures the exact tiredness level you are currently feeling

3) What is Oxford dictionary’s word of the year for 2015?

  1. YAAAS
  2. 😂

I bet you chose B again, it was the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015

As everyone may know, an emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication that is basically taking over the world. They have become extremely important and necessary to help explain exactly what we intend on saying. It has saved many awkward and embarrassing texts that helped the user in his/her time of need.

These little pictographs have created such an impact, it’s almost as if they really are slowing taking over the world. Their first step was to replace words, and that became clearly evident when Oxford dictionary; as mentioned earlier, chose a reflection of computer-aided communication, an emoji as their 2015 word of the year. This was recorded as a historic moment in Emoji history as they have become a part of a global mainstream as well as being a rich form of communication that goes beyond linguistic borders.

Emojis have evolved since their first year of 1999, where they have now become increasingly popular ever since they were included in Apple’s iPhone. Their development hasn’t stopped even today, where we have a diverse variety of options to choose from. People of all color now have their own emojis!

A number of movements have been initiated through the creations of emojis. Dove Hair would be the best example as they have created an emoji for the the curly-haired women out there to help them love and embrace their curls. This idea was built on the insight of having straight-haired emojis reinforce dominant beauty standards in a time such as today. Dove’s “love your curls” emoji keyboard consists of 27 curly hair designs that represent various skin tones and hair colors, making a curly-haired emoji available for every girl and woman. A professor of linguistics at the University of Toronto, Sali A. Tagliamonte, who partnered with Dove Hair on this launch has explained exactly how we feel when we use emojis, “emoji use is deeper than simple image, they are a symbolic of self”, he even added ” By using an emoji, a person can choose a picture that is in their own image, reflecting their style, personality, state of mind and even their looks. Just as language is like a badge of identity, so too are emojis”.

Other matters that helped escalate emojis’ world domination was the production of a physical Emoji keyboard range by EmojiWorks. It has created a keyboard that includes emojis stamped next to the keyboard buttons, so the H button on the keyboard has also become the button for the face with tears of joy emoji, making it much simple for people to use and express theirselves with. The product has already begun gaining popularity as it catered to the need and want of the market in the most convenient way possible.

So is technology changing the way we talk? Of course it is, and that is especially true in social media. Emojis have become a deeply embedded part of our textual and digital communications. They have become a more direct line to communication than words to the extent that the below makes full sense to us:

  • ✊🏼🐴🐴
  • ⬇️ ✌🏼️🌍
  • 👳🏾🚣🏾🐯
  • 🐈👀
  • 🍳☕️🍩♣️

Is it time to say RIP to English words? Or do they have a little bit more time left..

  • Hold your horses
  • Down to earth
  • Life of Pi
  • Cat eyes
  • The Breakfast Club
The Word of the Year 2015, is Not a Word!Jeddah Book Fair 2015

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